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At 37, Tessa Montgomery is one of youngest to be elected to Mt. Shasta City Council

Skye Kinkade
Mount Shasta Herald
Tessa Montgomery with her three sons: Camden (2 months), Davis (3) and Liam (9).

Tessa Montgomery was hopeful that she’d do well Tuesday in her bid for one of three seats on the Mount Shasta City Council. She didn’t anticipate finishing on top of the pack of five candidates, beating both incumbents and a former longtime city councilor with a commanding lead of 175 votes.

As of Wednesday morning, Montgomery, 37, had collected 27% of the vote. Attorney Tim Stearns, who served on the Mount Shasta City Council for more than 20 years before being voted out two years ago, had 22% of the vote, followed by incumbent John Stackfleth with 20%.

Incumbent Barbara Wagner had 16% of the vote Wednesday morning and retired legal assistant Betty Kreeger, who’s a frequent public commenter at Mount Shasta City Council meetings, had 14.6%.

Those percentages will change as the Siskiyou County Clerk continues to count ballots and update election results, although Montgomery’s commanding lead means she is a shoe-in to snag one of the three open seats.

2020 Siskiyou County Local Election Results | Mount Shasta Herald

“I am very humbled by the support of our community,” Montgomery said Wednesday morning. “I’m excited to do my best to represent everyone in the community in the coming term.”

At 37 – she’ll turn 38 on Dec. 1 – Montgomery is one of the youngest people to be elected as a Mount Shasta City Councilor in recent history, at least since the mid-90s.

Montgomery, a CPA and a Mount Shasta Chamber of Commerce board member who was born and raised in Mount Shasta, campaigned while pregnant and as the mother of a newborn – her son, Camden, was born Aug. 20.

Distributing campaign signs while she was pregnant was do-able, but once Camden was born, her campaign had to go on the back burner. 

“I was hopeful that my presence in the community would be enough to pull out a victory,” said Montgomery, who also has two older sons: 3-year-old Davis and 9-year-old Liam.

When the Siskiyou County Clerk’s Office posted the first batch of election results at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, they accidentally omitted several pages and the Mount Shasta City Council race wasn’t on it.

Mount Shasta City Council candidates on the Nov. 3 ballot include, clockwise from top left: Barbara Wagner, John Stackfleth, Tim Stearns, Betty Kreeger and Tessa Montgomery.

Montgomery said her dad, well known CPA Dorian Aiello, couldn’t stand the anticipation and called the clerk’s office. He had the person who answered the phone read him the results and was overjoyed to learn that his daughter had done so well.

Montgomery said she’ll be stepping down from the Chamber of Commerce board effective Jan. 1 before being sworn in as a Mount Shasta City Councilor early in the month.

If the results hold and Wagner is voted out, Montgomery would be the only woman on the council with Stearns and Stackfleth, as well as Jeffrey Collings and John Redmond. If that’s the case, Montgomery said she looks forward to representing businesswomen in the Mount Shasta community and using her background in finances to benefit the city.

More:City council candidate Tessa Montgomery has deep roots in Mount Shasta

More:RESULTS: Mount Shasta's Measure L behind in polls, south Siskiyou city council races extremely close

As a CPA with Aiello Goodrich & Teuscher, Montgomery has been involved with City of Mt. Shasta audits “for the bulk of her career.”

Audra Beylik, who served two terms on the Mount Shasta City Council, was 39 when she was elected to the Mount Shasta City Council in 1994. Redmond was 38 when he first ran for council in 2012, but wasn’t successful in his bid until 2018.

Katrina Howard was 40 years old when she was sworn in to the city council in  2008. Howard served two years on the Mount Shasta City Council before being arrested in an undercover sting operation and later pleading guilty to conspiracy to sell marijuana and possession of marijuana for sale with the special allegation of being armed with a firearm, stemming from a marijuana operation she ran from Mount Shasta and Humboldt County, making Montgomery the youngest Mount Shasta city councilor since at least 1994.

Skye Kinkade is the editor of the Mt. Shasta Area Newspapers and the Siskiyou Daily News. She is a fourth generation Siskiyou County resident and has lived in Mount Shasta and Weed her entire life.